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‘The Last Of Us’ Cast And Crew Wasn’t Allowed To Say The Z-Word On Set

It’s a common complaint about TV shows about zombies: why does no one say the word “zombie”? On The Walking Dead, “walker” is used as a stand-in for munchers, while “infected” is the preferred term on The Last of Us. The HBO series even went so far as to effectively ban the z-word from being uttered on set.

“We weren’t allowed to say the z-word on set. It was like a banned word. They were the infected,” cinematographer Eben Bolter told The Credits. “We weren’t a zombie show. Of course, there’s tension building and jump scares but the show’s really about our characters; the infected are an obstacle they have to deal with.” Joel and Ellie are more scared of someone stealing their Chef Boyardee than the infected, as they should be.

The Last of Us should have used a swear jar to cut down on z-word mishaps, except instead of paying a dollar every time someone cursed, the cast and crew would have to watch Negan’s Walking Dead debut if they said “zombie.” The punishment fits the crime.

Bolter also discussed the popularity of The Last of Us show:

“Back in 2013, I remember telling everybody I saw, ‘You have to try this game,’ but there were many people I knew who were never going to pick up a controller. It’s almost like, ‘There’s this amazing book I read, but you can’t read the language it’s written in so you’re never gonna know.’ What’s been great about this series is that now, I don’t have to pitch people anymore: ‘Trust me, it’s not just zombies.’ My parents, for example, I can just tell them: ‘Watch the show.’ And now they see what I saw when I first played the game, which is a beautiful thing.”

Linda Ronstadt exists in the universe of The Last of Us. I wonder if Shaun of the Dead does, too?

(Via The Credits)